The journey is 3 to 5 days long while passing through beautiful islands and white tropical beaches. From your departure point in Panama to San Blas the main departure point may cost you a little. Other departure points are in Colon-Portobello and Puerto Lindo towns that are few kilometers apart. Sailing from San Blas takes approximately 3 days depending on the weather. Making this journey will require you to hire a boat.
Boat hire is the first step to making this trip. Talk to the captain when hiring or book via an agency. Inquire about the number of the other passengers on the trip with you. Do not forget to get to the departure town before the actual sail time. Besides, have enough cash with you as there are no ATMS along the journey. Withdrawing the cash at Panama City is the best option.
The meals, water, departure and arrival costs are all catered for by the transport fees you pay. Immigration requirements such as passport stamping are taken care of by the captain. The fare is paid on the boat to the captain using cash. Then the captain takes your luggage to appropriate storage location. For this reason, prepare a day pack containing the essentials you need for the trip. These include sunscreen lotions, sunglasses, shorts, toiletries and tees.
Alcohol may or may not be allowed depending on the rules of the boat. When it is allowed however you have to carry your own. For soft drinks you will also make your own plans. There are special meals for special cases such as diabetes, vegetarians and vegans. However, you have to provide this information beforehand that is during booking. During your trip you may want to try out snorkeling or fishing and the necessary gear is provided.
Before the journey, you are informed of the safety requirements by captains. Sailing is not a game it often gets dangerous and risky. Storms may occur while at sea, even people may fall overboard or even food running out. There are even cases of drunk or sleepy captains. The best thing for you to do is not have many expectations and look for every chance you can get to have fun.
The trip through the islands also means interacting with the local tribes. This is a fun filled experience as you get to learn about other cultures. The Kuna Yala people inhabit the San Blas Island and you will find them beautiful and very social. Their food and craft made by bare hands is a must try. Other islands also have their own indigenous people.
When booking your trip ask for the credentials of the captain. Ensure they are licensed and professional and experienced in sailing. The boat too should have safety equipments such as life jackets and GPS trackers. Never go for cheap options blindly. A boat ride to Colombia from Panama is a fun way to travel.
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